Book 4, Chapter 79

The Sin Of War(2)

Agamemnon nodded without hesitation, “That can be done. I’ll give you rune knight candidates at level 14 who have the potential to reach 17, but they won’t have the Orleans family name nor any equipment. They can sign a contract with you to become slaves, but they should be treated and compensated the same way as any regular rune knight. Every warrior I provide, I’ll need to be compensated with 200,000 gold. How many do you need?”

Richard knitted his brows in thought. He already had fifteen full sets in stockpile, and with the nearly finished goods from Rosie he would only need another month in Faelor to complete five more.

Even though he was racking his brains about the sensitivity of the issue, weighing out the pros and cons of it all, he still noticed that the candidates from Agamemnon would not have the Orleans surname. This meant they were not blood-related to the Ironblood Duke, a consideration he greatly appreciated. His brows slowly uncreased as he decided to share some of his secrets with these friends who had gone through so much with him.

He raised two fingers.

“Only two? Are you serious? If that’s all, I can just give them to you!” Nyris cried out.

“Twelve?” Agamemnon sounded out, but obviously didn’t believe that number himself. In his opinion, five more rune knights would have to be the limit.

“Twenty.” Richard’s calm voice was like a landmine that startled both of the youths.

“WHAT? ARE YOU SERIOUS?” Nyris exclaimed.

“If I’m messing around I’ll let you kiss me, how about that?”

Nyris was startled by the somewhat inappropriate joke, but then he started to consider the proposal seriously. Richard’s half-smile slowly warped into an expression of horror.

Seeing Richard’s expression turn sour, the royal youth suddenly let out a laugh, “Ha, that’ll teach you to run your mouth! You can be honest with me now. So, I have a new suggestion for you to consider. You sell us ten sets at the normal prices, and on our part we’ll give you twenty rune knight candidates. Ten will be contracted to you permanently, while the others will serve you for half a year in any capacity before you return them to us. What do you think?”

Richard made some mental calculations and knitted his brows, “Where are you going to get eight million from? Don’t tell me you want to divide your profits further…”

Nyris and Agamemnon looked at each other and forced a smile, shrugging their shoulders with a nod, “Family.”

“Do they help you in your internal things?” Richard followed up. This was a crucial question; until one’s basic army had grown to a certain level, creating more rune knights would not be much of a deterrent to enemy forces.

“Mm!” Nyris nodded vigorously.

“Okay then. How about five million and ten enslavement scrolls?”

Agamemnon sighed, “Richard, that won’t do. We’re friends, and we want to stay friends. We won’t put ourselves on the losing end of any transactions, sure, but shouldn’t that be the same for you?”

Richard smiled, “Don’t worry, I’m still making a profit at that price point. Don’t underestimate me!”

“What?! You can make a profit even selling at five million?!” Nyris’ eyes lit up as he lunged forward for a hug, “Richard, I love you!”

Richard continued to remain sitting upright, only laughing as Nyris approached. The Fourth Prince immediately stopped in his tracks, forehead starting to drip with sweat before he obediently sat down once more. Richard then slowly let out a held breath. It seemed like the more aggressive party won in these situations.

With both parties having come to an agreement, Richard sent someone to the Forest Plane to hurry Olar and Lina. The Dragon Mage was now the greatest warrior in his army, and they had built up a good rapport over their time together.

Richard didn’t take any gold from Nyris or Agamemnon, instead just giving him the two million he had in reserve and placing an order for seven million’s worth of weapons and armour, the bulk of the weapons being crossbows. It was enough for him to arm a thousand elite drones, making for an army that was rarely seen even in Norland.

……

The time to set off was approaching. The rune knight candidates had already gathered, preparing to head to Faelor, and Richard had brought twenty level 10 mages along. It could be said that he had mobilised all of his military, full of killing intent as they prepared to destroy the enemy who would be attacking Faelor.

Meanwhile in the Church of the Eternal Dragon, Flowsand was praying silently in front of the Book of Time. Strands of timeforce emanated from the body and circled the tome, engulfing it in a translucent glow as it tried its best to hold on. She was sweating profusely, entire body slowly starting to tremble even as the book itself remained motionless. She had discovered that the target of the enemy’s portal was the Lighthouse of Time in Bluewater.

Richard’s first reaction had been to use the time difference between a temporary portal and a permanent passageway to transfer all the battle might he could to Faelor, fighting a bloody war at the oasis city. However, Flowsand’s plan was even more direct. She was trying to use the Book of Time to change the destination of this portal, hopefully to send them to their doom. She was thinking of places like the Land of Turmoil, the depths of the sea, or right inside a fiery volcano.

Yet, her best efforts came up for naught. She was unable to move the surprisingly stable portal; it looked like the opponent was prepared for victory. Disappointment flooded her face as she clasped her hand to her heart, slowly closing her eyes in preparation to pray to the Eternal Dragon and obtain the divine grace needed to thwart her opponents. Deep down, she knew this debt would likely be her last.

It was at this time that she felt a searing pain in the back of her head. Someone had hit her! Her prayers naturally stopping midway, she clutched her head in pain and rage as she turned around.

Ferlyn was right behind her, staff in hand.

“High Priestess, why…” Flowsand was about to say something when she saw several strands of timeforce move out from Ferlyin’s right hand to swirl around the Book of Time. She immediately swallowed her complaints and fell silent.

Ferlyn sighed, “I really don’t know what to do with you. Let me warn you one last time, don’t create a debt you cannot repay! You have to leave some bit of hope for yourself, even if it’s the tiniest sliver. If you don’t, I’m sure you will regret it. I can help you again, but this will be the last. Are you certain?”

Flowsand bit her bottom lip, but there was no hesitation as she gently nodded her head.

Ferlyn just shook her own, letting out another sigh, “You remind me of myself in the past. Only after you lose the last bits of your divine grace do you realise you don’t have anything left to call your own…” The high priestess gently shook her staff and raised her right hand, causing the Book of Time to stir.

Flowsand looked at the writhing form of Ferlyn’s elegant beauty, suddenly feeling her nose sour as a heat seemed to assault her eyes.

“Hurry, tell me where you want the destination to be!” Ferlyn urged impatiently, clearly in agonising pain.

Flowsand’s eyes lit up, “Underground, in the sea, the mouth of a volcano, unstable spacetime…”

Ferlyn was bewildered, a laugh creeping up her face as she berated her successor, “So cruel! When I was your age I just healed departed spirits or sped up the ageing of any beauties I had issues with. Be serious now, give me an exact distance and direction from the original location.”

“Hmm… 700 kilometres, southwest.”

“What?! Keep it within 400!”

“317 then.”

Ferlyn let out a long sigh, flailing her right arm, “Done. What’s there?”

“A regular human kingdom, but there’s a greater deity’s church.”

“Heh, you really are much crueller than I was back then!” Ferlyn said, rather impressed. She played with her fingers and a few pale gold spots landed on the Book of Time.

Flowsand was rather confused, having to ask what that was for.

“Nothing much. I was just giving that portal some… Let’s call it presence. Any living gods on Faelor will know that someone is on the way.”

It was now Flowsand’s turn to look at Ferlyn speechlessly. Both generations of titled priestesses shared some eerily similar traits.

……

A storm was slowly brewing in Faelor.

The pope of the Church of Valour was seated on his high chair, a crystal monocle perched on his eye as he carefully read the report in front of him. It wasn’t long, only three pages in total, but it still took an hour as he slowly went through it word by word.

In front of his desk was a cardinal dressed in red, maintaining a respectfully modest pose. However, the man’s balding head was pouring with sweat that he constantly had to wipe off.

The pope finally finished the report and closed his eyes, opening them slightly only after a long while, “This report… Viscount Richard of the Sequoia Kingdom… He is the same person that invaded the Whiterock Dukedom some years ago?”

“Yes.” The cardinal couldn’t help but wipe more sweat off his forehead.

“You must know clearly what these allegations mean. You should also know what sort of man Viscount Richard is.” The pope’s eyes were still half-closed, as though he was half-asleep.

“Yes, I understand fully.” The cardinal felt his legs almost give way under him.

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OMA's Thoughts

Translated By: Styles

Edited By: Theo

TLC'ed By: OMA